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Stolen taonga recovered by Police

The St Stephen’s and Queen Victoria Schools’ Trust Board
(Incorporated under the Charitable Trusts Act, 1957)

Media Statement
02 December 2004
For immediate release

Stolen taonga recovered by Police

The Stephen’s and Queen Victoria Schools Trust Board is delighted that carvings stolen from the wharenui (meeting house) of the former St Stephen’s School at Bombay South of Auckland have been found.

Thirteen carved poupou, or carved figures, were stolen from the school’s wharenui some time during the weekend of the 10th and 11th of January this year.

The meeting house was originally the school hall. It was converted to a wharenui in 1983, under the guidance of tohunga whakairo (master carver), Dr Pakaariki Harrison.

Trust Board Chair Rangi Pouwhare said the Police advised the trust board’s managers last night that the carvings had been recovered when they raided a property as part of an operation they have been conducting.

“The trustees are both delighted and relieved that these taonga have been recovered,” Mrs Pouwhare said.

“The theft was extremely distressing, because we just could not think of who would do such a thing,” she said.

Mrs Pouwhare said when the Police release the carvings back to the Trust Board they will be taken to a secure location.


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